Plan a Supporter Led Event

Congratulations and thank you! You have decided to hold a Supporter Led Event to raise awareness and funds to fight Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) — The Worst Disease You've Never Heard Of. This page will take you through some things to consider as you begin your planning. There are links to our “Supporter Led Event Checklist,” Friends Asking Friends Tutorials, our brochure, and more. Always remember, if you have any questions, or need any help with this process, we are here to help you every step of the way! Contact us at events [at] debra [dot] org or 212-868-1573.

A. Resources for Planning Supporter Led Events
B. Supporter Led Event Checklist
C. Fundraising Myths Debunked
D. How to Ask for a Donation

Resources for Planning Supporter Led Events

Supporter Led Event Checklist

  1. What type of event do you want to organize? The first thing to consider is the type of event you would like to organize. We have a list of event suggestions on page 6 of our Event Guide that you can use as a starting point.  Here are some things to consider to help you narrow it down:
    • How much time do you have to put into planning? Some events take more effort to plan than others, so make sure you pick something you are comfortable committing the time to.
    • What are you interested in? Many of our events are based upon our Local Supporters’ interests. Enjoy basketball? Play a game for charity. Baking? Hold a bake sale. Magic: The Gathering? Hold a pay-to-play tournament. No matter what type of event, we can create you a website to help you collect registrations, donations, and spread awareness. If you need help figuring out how to turn your interests into an event, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help!
  2. Who can you get to help? Putting on an event can be a time commitment! See if your family and friends are able to pitch in and help you with specific tasks.  Building a committee of volunteers is a great way to have a successful and stress-free event. Some things to consider when you ask them:
    • Before you ask for people to help, it can be helpful to have a job in mind for them. For instance, ask a friend with some artistic skill to help you make posters and flyers for the event. Or ask a family member who is a good cook to bake snacks for your bake sale.
    • Be willing to accept different types of help. Some people will be               able to work with you to help plan the whole event, and some people will only have time to help with one or two small tasks. Ask your friends to be honest about how much time they can commit. After all, every little bit helps!
  3. Where would you like to hold your event? Once you know what kind of event you would like to organize, the next question is where to hold it. Here are some things to consider:
    • What kind of space do you need for your event? A walk-a-thon or 5K will need a park, but a bake sale just needs a table.
    • Do you know anyone with access to the type of space you need? Sometimes the best way to find a place is to ask your friends and family.
    • Where, in your area, can you find the space you need? There are many different places you can get space, including restaurants, schools, churches, libraries, parks, and community centers.
    • Whose permission do you need? For parks and other public spaces, you sometimes need to get a permit from your city or town.
    • How much will it cost? While it is great if you can get space donated for your event, sometimes there are fees involved. If there are, contact events [at] debra [dot] org to see how we can help!
  4. When would you be able to hold your event? Once you know what type of event, where, and about how many people you can count on to help you, it’s time to figure out a timeline. Some things to consider:
    • When is your location available? You want to make sure that the space you are considering is available on the date you choose.
    • How long will it take to prepare? Some tasks are quick, like printing up flyers. Others, like obtaining permits, can take longer. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get ready.
    • What time of year is ideal for your event? Some events can be held year-round, but anything taking place outside will need to happen when the weather is appropriate. It is also important to consider holidays and school breaks, which may interfere with your community’s ability to attend your event.
    • How long will it take to let everyone know? For any successful event, you need people to come. How are you going to get them there? How long will it take for you to pass out flyers and send out emails, and how far in advance will you need to let people know so they can plan to come?
  5. What type of budget will you need? There are almost always costs associated with putting on an event, whether it be space rental, or baking supplies. What does your budget look like:
    • First of all, if you need an excel budget spreadsheet, feel free to contact us at events [at] debra [dot] org, and we will be happy to send a basic one along.
    • Some common costs associated with events are space rental, decorations, food and beverages, and printing of flyers and signs.
    • If you need to, will you be able to cover the costs yourself, or do you need outside support?
    • How much are you expecting to raise from your event? Will you charge admission? Ask participants to fundraise?
    • Are there any businesses, local or otherwise, that you can ask to sponsor your event?
    • Once you have a basic budget worked out, contact events [at] debra [dot] org to see how we can help!
  6. Talk to debra of America! Once you have the basic idea worked out, make sure you contact us, so we can talk about how we can help. Some ways we can help support you:
    • We can make you your very own event website! You will be able to accept registrations, donations, hold an online auction and promote your event.
    • We will post your event on our website, and on our Facebook page, as well as advertise it through emails. This way, other members of the debra of America community can get involved and attend!
    • Need brochures and merchandise? We’ve got you covered! We have information and signs that you can use to promote your event, and branded merchandise that you can sell.
    • We provide all documentation necessary to prove that you are fundraising for an official non-profit. We can provide 501(c)(3), W-9, COI and NYS Tax Exempt documents as needed.
    • If there is any other assistance you need, such as graphics assistance, special sponsor materials, or would like a staff member to attend your event, make sure to ask as far in advance as possible, and we will make every effort to fulfill your request.
  7. What do I need to do at my Event? The day of your event is here! Here are some things to keep in mind:
    • Collect contact information. If donors or participants would like a tax receipt for their donation, please make sure to collect their name, address, and the amount of their donation, so that we can send them one.
    • Take pictures! We are always excited to share pictures of events with the EB Community. It helps your guests remember the fun they had at your event, and inspires others to hold similar events.
    • All checks collected at the event should be made out to “debra of America.” After the event, all checks can be mailed to: debra of America, 75 Broad Street, Suite 300, New York, NY 10004. Make sure you include your event name in the memo field, or in a separate note, so that we know it’s from you!

Fundraising Myths Debunked

Fact or MythMyth #1: People only give if they like the cause. Actually, the reality is that people give because you are doing the asking. We suggest starting with family and friends because they are the most likely to give to you, and will get you off to a great start. Tip: They’re even more willing to give if you ask them to match or exceed your own personal donation.

Myth #2: I can’t fundraise because I don’t know anyone with EB. Yes, you can. All it takes is believing in the cause.

Myth #3: I don’t have time to fundraise. Just five minutes a day will yield results. It’s as quick as sending one of our pre-written fundraising emails while you drink your morning coffee.

Myth #4: Everyone else fundraises, so I don’t have to. Actually, about 30% of the people do 100% of the fundraising. You read that right—a relatively tiny number of people are doing ALL of the fundraising. Let’s give them a hand!

How to Ask for a Donation in 3 Easy Steps

No magic tricks required. Just follow these steps and you’ll be saying, “Thanks for the donation!” in no time.

Can You Help?1. What are you raising money for? 
Example: “I’m fundraising for debra of America because it supports people living with EB living in our community. It also funds research to cure EB.”

2. Explain why it’s important. 
Examples: “While there is currently no cure or treatment, new research is showing a lot of promise, so it’s important to keep it funded.”

“It can cost an EB family up to $10,000 per month for bandages, and insurance doesn’t always pay. Just $25 helps to supply these necessary bandages to a family who can’t afford it.”

If you have a personal connection to the cause, mention it. If not, read about EB Families to see how the disease affects people’s lives. 

3. Ask your donor to take action.
Example: “Will you make a $50 donation to help families living with EB?” Take a moment and let your donor answer.  It will generally take 2-3 asks for someone to donate, so don’t get discouraged!


Not sure how to get started on fundraising for your event? Not sure how to encourage your participants to fundraise? Not a problem! Start off with our easy guide on how to raise $250 in a week. All you have to do is ask! Remember, it takes an average of 3 asks for someone to donate, so don’t get discouraged!


Mail checks and donor lists to:

debra of America
Attn: Supporter Led Events
75 Broad Street, Suite 300
New York, NY 10004

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Related Information/Links

Read about EB in Greater Depth
Attend an Event
Understanding EB